Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The line forms here....

I went in with a form to a government office to get a rebate. I took a ticket and sat down. There were a lot of other people with tickets. Great. I felt like crap but I was there with my ticket and I wanted the rebate so I sat and waited with the other people clutching white tickets. Anyway, A267 was finally called. Yay! That was me. The other ticket people looked at me with jealousy. All eyes were on me as I, lucky A267, wandered over to the counter with my form. Hey, I waited in line. It was my turn. Although queuing with tickets is deemed civilized, I am damn sure if you dropped your ticket someone else would snatch it up. It’s like when you first go and get the ticket, someone will always try to beat you to the machine. But I always parry with a body swing to left or right and people generally move to avoid my handbag of death that is bouncing on my hip. I could kill a man with that handbag it’s so heavy. When I was in hospital last they weighed me. Okay – not super model slim but okay for me. I weighed my handbag while I was there - 3 kilos or approx 6.6 pounds. Bloody hell. No wonder I have strong shoulders. And no, I could not possible take any of the incredibly useful stuff out of there. What if something terrible happened and I had to re-build a city, make a boat or fix the engine of a plane or file my nails? I would be lost without my handbag.

Anyway….where was I…oh yes, forms…so I went to the counter and handed my form over to the person behind the desk. She looked at me but didn’t. You know that vacant god-I-can-hardly-wait-until-it-is-five-o’clock-and-I-don’t-have-to deal-with-the-feral-public-again stare. It’s a stare I do well and having once worked in a government department you must perfect this stare if you are going to survive. So, Flossie-Lou behind the counter took the form. “It’s wrong.” What? “You need the other part of this form.” Hmmm, now I did not take the other part as it looked exactly like the one I had brought in and I thought the other one was a duplicate. I told her that. She could care less. “Come again with the right form. I’m very sorry.” She wasn’t. I saw the faintest hint of satisfaction in her eyes. I said, “Gee, you don’t sound sorry, Flossie-Lou.” She just gave me the death stare and I smiled back as brightly as I could. Needless to say the other ticket collectors were thrilled I have been dealt with so quickly as they had more chance of their number getting called out. It’s almost like waiting for the lotto balls to drop.

So I went back home and got the duplicate form. I came back and got another number - A392 and waited in the corral with the rest of ticketed ones. Ten minutes later and I was up at the counter. Flossie-Lou wasn’t there. I presented the forms and my card to the woman. I asked why I had to bring both forms in. She pointed to a tiny, weeny little number in the bottom left hand corner. “We need that.” Seriously? Who could read that? It looked like something an ant had written. She also added that they ‘could have also gotten by without it.’ Yes, of course but sending me back home for it was more fun.

Government departments I love ‘em and really I should have known better. They have forms and processes for everything and if an I is not dotted ( I never ever dot I’s) or a T is crossed on the wrong angle then they all grind to a halt and have to form a sub-committee who will look into the angle of T’s being crossed. They would then present those findings to management who would in turn form a committee to elect a spokesmen to present the T slash findings to a parliamentary sub committee who would consider whether to pass it on to a legislative committee to put on the agenda for the 2009 sub planning committee on the changing the rules regarding the formation of T in government language and how those changes would effect the country. Still, I guess it keeps them in a job.

Did I get the rebate? Yes. It did not cover my time or petrol but it did make me appreciate life. How so? That I can still laugh and move on. Where would you be if you could not laugh at the anality (could be a made up word) of it all?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?